Was referee Atkinson rubbish or trying to ruin Arsenal’s day?

It is not just the fans of Arsenal Football Club who feel hard done by at times by the football officials in charge of our matches and to be honest I think it is just about impossible to be completely neutral and unbiased when it comes to supporting a team.

Having said that and still trying to be objective, I genuinely believe that the Gunners do not get the rub of the green that our Premier League and Champions League rivals get. I think that all English clubs ten to get harsher decisions than our European rivals and I believe that some bad feeling from Uefa is to blame, but that is another argument for another day.

In the Premier League , though, our chances of winning the title have too often been damaged by some poor decisions from a referee, such as the case when Mike Dean did nothing about the Chelsea striker Diego Costa’s repeated fouling of Laurent Koscielny before sending off Gabriel for pretty much nothing.

They were at it again yesterday and this time it was Martin Atkinson who seemed intent on either hurting Arsenal or helping Sunderland. The most obvious incident was the clear pull back on Alexis Sanchez in the box which was not given and then compounded by giving Sunderland a penalty at the other end.

Before that, however, there were a number of other cases where it seemed clear to me that Atkinson and his assistants were not being fair to Arsenal. Holding on Alexis in the 7th minute should have got us a free kick but didn’t. Rodwell clattered Coquelin and led with his arm so it could even have been red but was certainly a yellow card and we didn’t even get a free kick.

Pienaar should have been booked for a bad tackle on Alexis but wasn’t and there was a blatant foul throw with the linesman looking straight at the player and failing to take action and although it may seem petty, these things can make a difference.

We won the game so it did not matter but if we had lost and I blamed the ref people would say it was sour grapes, so is this the right time to ask whether the EPL officials, or some of them at least, have it in for Arsenal?

Tags Alexis Atkinson Coquelin


  1. Interesting, I actually thought the opposite.. Sunderland seemed to be bleeding yellow cards and I thought Alexis was going down extremely easy at times, I also was super surprised when Cech didn’t get a red for the penalty kick, he was the last man and whether he meant it or not he did clearly take out the player and not even get close to the ball.

    1. All our yellow cards came from challenging incorrect decisions. Sunderland got off extremely lightly on yellow cards, as a lot were not given when they should’ve been, and all were given for dangerous play. Goalkeepers don’t get red cards for a foul unless it’s dangerous play in the new rules, and the Ginger Messi clearly exaggerated and played for it – from the front camera replay, I can’t see any contact, and although it looks like there is from the back, you can’t see the contact point, as you can from the front, so it is difficult to tell. It looks simulated and played for from the front, certainly avoidable and not enough to bring someone down. If that was a penalty, then Alexis’ certainly was.

  2. It’s always the same w Atkinson – he’s a c**t! He and Mike ‘Jasper Carrot’ Dean are the worst ref’s in the PL, It’s so blatant I’m surprised a proper inquest hasn’t been filed. They have always been gunning for us and not in the right way!

  3. I don’t understand why we can’t have younger referees. I’m not being ageist, but surely if they were younger, they would be able to keep up with the play and have better eyesight.

    I don’t think we are the only club hard done by – Crystal Palace should’ve had a penalty, which would’ve made it 3-3, and maybe a different outcome, also although I hate to say it, I think manure were harshly treated with their sending off as well.

    1. Far out palace fans must feel hard done by… A few 50/50 pen calls, then a clear-cut one not given! I would’ve been absolutely livid…

  4. Terrible reffing, I was moaning all game, Alexis was being treated very harshly and he gave him nothing, alternatively he couldn’t wait to give them free kicks. When they where given the penalty after we wasn’t I nearly blew my top. You can ask my wife, I’m a Libra and have a reasonably balanced fair view but I watched the game again and could not believe how biased this ref was, he should be punished for that game as he was trying his best to cost us points.

  5. In all honesty.. We’ve been very lucky with refs this season. I feel every season teams have calls that go for and against them. I agree there were a few calls that didn’t go our way, but I’m stoked they happened in a game that finished 4-1 than a tight encounter.

  6. Yeah it’s good that you brought it up now so next time someone says sour grapes, you can point out how you highlighted it after a 1-4 win. I seen an article showing where refs hail from and amazingly something like over eighty percent of them are northeners. Very very few of them are from London. I’ve always believed that a leagues referees should be imported from abroad, every league should abide by this. People are going to have more empathy for people who grew up not so far away. They all grew up watching and supporting football yet you can have a ref in charge of a Manchester match even if he grew up or lives in and around the area.

  7. prem league refs have been terrible, I wuld really like refs from other leagues to be brought in to officiate matches

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